Goldsboro Daily Argus, 31 December 1905.
For decades, on January 1, African-American communities formally celebrated the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1905, under the leadership, in part, of William S. Hagans and Mack D. Coley, the “Educational, Agricultural and Industrial mass meeting” of Wayne County’s “colored citizens” issued an eight-point pledge:
(1) to be respectable;
(2) to endorse state policy to give all children, regardless of color, an education;
(3) to urge school attendance;
(4) to encourage teachers not only to teach, but to pay home visits and preach every manner of virtue and home improvement;
(5) to disapprove of shiftlessness;
(6) to condemn crime and encourage law-abiding conduct;
(7) to suggest that farmers carry insurance and to educate them; and
(8) to become more united as a race, to organize to buy land, and to help one another retire mortgages.